Centurion: On a Bust in the Knole Collection Sculpted in Rome in the Third Century CE

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A Roman bust in the Knole collection (Kent, United Kingdom) was sold by Thomas Jenkins to John Frederick Sackville, Third Duke of Dorset, in Rome in 1771. Researchers who studied the bust since the end of the 19th century were unanimous in their opinion: it was a modern sculpture. However, the present study is able to refute that hypothesis, demonstrating that the bust was sculpted in a workshop in Rome in the second quarter of the third century CE. The vitis (centurion’s staff) and the dagger at the figure’s left side indicate that it represents a Roman centurion.

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